At Bend Park and Recreation District (BPRD), our values are rooted in connecting community to nature, recreation and each other. Our purpose is to foster healthy, enriched lifestyles by providing exceptional parks, trails and recreation services. These services play a vital role in the health and wellbeing of our community.
We strive to be leaders in our community, but we understand that leadership cannot come without self-examination and humility. As part of that self-examination, we acknowledge that our efforts to provide exceptional service fall short for some of our community and staff. We recognize the social inequalities that have long existed and continue to exist both locally and globally. Many people in our community continue to be underserved, underrepresented and marginalized.
It is our responsibility to celebrate diversity, be inclusive and accessible, and to reduce inequalities. We are determined to practice our values in our work and have them be reflected in our programs and amenities. We are committing to take a deep and thoughtful look at our internal policies, practices and services we provide to identify how we can improve. To guide our desire to do better we have launched a comprehensive DEI initiative.
The initiative includes:
- Hiring a consulting team with expertise in DEI to conduct an organizational assessment. The assessment helps us understand the gaps in our service and the changes needed to improve our DEI efforts.
- Developing an action plan to implement the recommendations of the assessment. The action plan will detail the steps to improve DEI in the provision of our programs and services, and the operations of our parks, trails and recreation facilities. The plan is expected to be completed in 2022 and will be shared here and with partners and the public.
Our DEI Journey
Working towards becoming a more diverse, equitable and inclusive organization has no finish line. We will dedicate resources to continually make progress. The assessment and action plan are steps in our journey to ensure equitable access to safe and welcoming programs, services and facilities to all in the community. We understand this course will require conversation, collaboration and openness to change. We expect that this change may not always be comfortable. It will take time and we will make mistakes—but we are fully committed to engaging in this process of growth and service. We are holding ourselves accountable to do better.
When discussing DEI concepts, it is important to use a shared vocabulary. BPRD uses the following definitions:
Diversity: Human differences, such as: ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, (dis)ability, religious or spiritual identity, national origin, political beliefs, etc.
Equity: To treat everyone fairly. Takes into consideration the various systemic oppressions certain social groups face when seeking to render justice.
Inclusion: Creating a culture where all people feel respected, accepted and valued.
Learn more about related BPRD programs and initiatives: